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© grzegorz kula dreamstime.com Components | February 28, 2013

World’s smallest ARM powered microcontroller

Freescale introduces Kinetis KL02. The 1.9x2.0mm MCU enables new wave of product miniaturization for the Internet of Things.
As the Internet of Things (IoT) expands to include greater numbers of small, intelligent, battery-operated devices, the MCUs that enable these devices must deliver performance, energy efficiency and connectivity in progressively smaller footprints.

Freescale Semiconductor is addressing the miniaturization trend with its new Kinetis KL02 MCU–the world’s smallest ARM Powered® MCU. The KL02 holds great potential for ultra-small-form-factor products in applications such as portable consumer devices, remote sensing nodes, wearable devices and ingestible healthcare sensing.

Measuring just 1.9 x 2.0 mm, the Kinetis KL02 MCU is 25 percent smaller than the industry’s next-smallest ARM MCU. Within this miniscule device, Freescale has included the latest 32-bit ARM Cortex-M0+ processor, cutting-edge low-power functionality and a range of analog and communication peripherals.

This enables system designers to dramatically reduce the size of their boards and products while retaining the all-important performance, feature integration and power consumption characteristics of their end devices. In addition, space-constrained applications that previously couldn’t incorporate an MCU now can be upgraded to become smart applications, adding a new tier of devices to the IoT ecosystem.

“Freescale has been a pioneer in many aspects of the ARM Powered MCU market with our Kinetis portfolio,” said Geoff Lees, senior vice president and general manager of Freescale’s Microcontroller business. “We were the first to market with MCUs based on the ARM Cortex-M4 and Cortex-M0+ processors, we set new standards for entry-level MCU energy efficiency, and we’ve now created the world’s smallest ARM Powered MCU, helping advance the Internet of Things era.”

“The Internet of Things will soon be a vast and diverse ecosystem of smart connected devices and screens that embed intelligence into many new areas of our lives. This could range from tiny sensors helping to monitor crops and deliver irrigation, to microcontrollers that enable entire buildings to be more energy efficient. Our mobile devices could be soon controlling and managing this data and making our lives easier to manage," said Richard York, director, Embedded Processor Products, ARM. “The Kinetis KL02 CSP MCU brings the best ARM and Freescale technologies to applications at the very edge of the IoT and opens up exciting possibilities for a new tier of ultra-small, smart, power-efficient devices.”

Advanced chip-scale packaging

The Kinetis KL02 is a wafer-level chip-scale package (CSP) MCU. Freescale’s CSP MCUs use the latest in package manufacturing technology to connect the die directly to the solder ball interconnects and, in turn, to the printed circuit board (PCB).

This removes the need for bond wires or interposer connections, which minimizes die-to-PCB inductance and improves thermal conduction and package durability for physically harsh environments. The KL02 device is the third CSP MCU in the Kinetis portfolio, joining the larger 120/143-pin Kinetis K series K60/K61 variants. Additional Kinetis CSP MCUs with increased performance, memory and feature options are planned throughout 2013.

Kinetis KL02 MCU features include:
  • 48 MHz ARM Cortex-M0+ core, 1.71-3.6V operation
  • Bit manipulation engine for faster, more code-efficient handling of peripheral registers
  • 32 KB flash memory, 4 KB RAM
  • High-speed 12-bit analog-to-digital converter
  • High-speed analog comparator
  • Low-power UART, SPI, 2x IICI2C
  • Powerful timers for a broad range of applications including motor control
  • -40 °C to +85 °C operation

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